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Welcome - Malaysian Tropical RainForest Garden Blog.

Here is where I share all my tropical garden design, concepts, themes & experiences, secrets and tips in gardening, plant care, my plant discoveries, experiments of my trials & errors.

I'm blessed with the Hot & Wet Tropical Climate and my endeavour with Tropical Garden & Rare, Exotic Plants.

I am a Plant Enthusiast and Gardening is a major part of my life where I love to share my thoughts, experiences & life work.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Part 3 - Exodus

This is the most difficult part, putting them in places.

First - I need to remove all the pest.
So, after cleaning the soil build-up on the side .
(shrubbing and washing)
Suddenly, I just got stuck as not sure where to start.
I begin by sorting all the tall ones from the back,
while doing one pot at a time.
(I manage to prune & put the fertiliser)
Some need major work - re-setting the soil and plants.
May have to settle this later when I have more time.

After settling all the coloured ones, I rearranged the green ones.
Ohh.. how I wished I have less plants..
(Want not, Throw not)
Grew tired by the evening and had a tea break.
Guess what (I have no energy to start again)
I just stood there and wondered what to do next..
and that took few minutes & another couples of minutes.

Well, Finally by night
I was able to set all that is needed and remodel my garden.
Even after dinner, I cannot stop myself from looking away from the garden.

Do you experience this kind of similar situation when remodeling your garden?

Felt like a lot more to do:
Replanting, finding a solution for those pest (whiteflies & mealy bugs),
overgrown ferns & dying plants
More coming this weekend.

Part 2 - "De-Forestation"

Finally I had manage to sum up some courage and decided to go with it. I guess it is now or never factor. Given the moment of time, I really don't think I would have the luxury of spare time to tend my garden. Not long hours like this.

So, first I have decided to do one thing at a time... and fast. I had removed all the plants and place them on the other side. If you have noticed, all my plants are in pots.

After clearing, I had got about 50 snails & slugs hiding under the bricks, behind the rim of the pots and every nook & corner. If I pity them, I would have to pay the price of sacrificing my plants.. so I guess you know what needed to be sacrificed.

There were many earthworms & spiders though, all of them crawling under the thin layer of soil, I had put them into the pots and hope they are happy there.

I want to show this part of my garden. The very basic bare space, its about 3m length and about a 1.5 meters in width. And that's the paradise I got - in making this simple garden.

After removing everything, the Flaming Violets are the only one that had found its residence between the pebbles. As you can see, how healthy looking it is, much better compared my potted ones - if fact, the potted one got matured and slowing dying.

Well, finally after carefully removing the plant, it was all scrubbing & washing and again & again.
I started about 3pm and finished about 8pm. A good 5 hours of work. The weather was good - the sun was shining all day and that helped to cheer me up.

More pictures coming up (Part 3 & Part 4)

Part 1 - Garden Turning Forest

My ferns in the hanging pots had partially dried and I had hanged it in a unreachable place as to maximise my garden space. Along with others those which are not so attractive plants hidden at the background where it serves as a haven for snails, slugs and mealy bugs.

I was thinking... and thinking...

Should I or shouldn't I?

It was really a now or later issue actually...

And so these thoughts continued playing in my mind as I was pruning & cutting off all the dried fern pots after another. Most of the Maiden Hair Ferns and the Fluffy Ruffle Ferns are dried at the bottom (either too hot and had faced lack of water)

The Cane Begonia had grown nicely about to my height and I had also pruned it to give a nice lovely look.

Above all I cannot stop admiring the Spiral Ginger with the Never plant together with the Dumbcane plants - they give the everlasting variegated white look.
With the Green Flaming Violet and the blue tiles at the foreground certainly gave a nice feature to feast the eye upon. (With the background of the begonias and the red vine plant)

Back: ZigZag plant, Black Berry Lily, Creeping Fig
Front: in the planter box - Song of India & (another one which I had forgotten its name)
The sore eye begins with all the half eaten leaves in all of these plants. These are all been damaged by slugs and snails which seemed to be hiding behind all these stones.
The only way to get rid of them is to remove these and properly clean the whole area.

(This is what I was contemplation on: Should I or Shouldn't I)

I started this with a small handful strings from my mother's garden.
Eventually I had nurtured it and made many hangers, currently there are 3 here. I had given a lot of it as gifts to my neighbours and also to my mum but unfortunately none of them survived in their garden. (sob..sob..)
Currently this Spanish Moss do take the limelight of my garden. I think I had seen too much of it that it totally block most of the lovely view of my garden. Or perhaps another word - too long & messy.

(Hibiscus, Water Jasmine, Bougainvillea)
The hibiscus have been flowering a lot lately, but the rest of it is just foliage - too many and leggy actually. It had altogether had turned the whole garden very heavy looking.

(Bleeding Hearts, Palm Orchid, Maiden Hair Fern)
These were infected with whitefly and were farmed by ants. It didn't do any damage to the plants. I didn't want to resort to pesticide too soon so I just managed by flushing them with water. I know its a losing battle as these pest might just multiply within a weeks time. Probably will check on them on the coming weekend to see how bad is bad.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Water Jasmine - Wrightia Religiosa

Its known as Water Jasmine, also known as Sacred Buddhist, Wild Water Plum, Wondrous Wrightia. Its considered a sacred plant for Buddhist - as you can see even the name indicate it so (Sacred Buddhist) and (Religiosa) but I really wish someone could tell me any story or legend concerning this plant.

I tried planting this one using cuttings. Somehow with so many unsuccessful attempts I had decided to start this with seeds. It took me almost a year for it to reach this height.
What marvels me is their leaves, never seen them so uniformly arranged - almost all of them in pairs.

It haven't flowered yet, I was advised that stripping the leaves and pruning may speed up the flowering stage. I had just done that last weekend. Hope it works this time.

These are the flowers, I had managed to capture them on camera. It was quite hard to get their image as the white colour somehow just appear to be like paperwhite without the tones and the whole thing is just a white blob.
This tree is been growing wildly in the abandon areas in Jinjang. I wish I could steal this tree away but it just too wild and big. Many attempts in propagating this using cuttings didn't help.
The plant look alive for few months but eventually die without any root development.
The fragrance of this jasmine is just so mesmerising that planting this jasmine and waiting for its bloom is so worthwhile - even if take years. This plant is suitable to make bonsai and very much marketed as bonsai trees compared to the original form.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yellow Ixora

This ixora was given to me by my mum. She wanted to clear her garden and was trying her best to give away all the surplus. I wouldn't consider propagating this one. Somehow I know it thru the cuttings but there is something about ixora's. This is the one plant which gives a yellow flower in my garden.

I often come across ixora flowers and its a haven for insects, spiders and all. So much so, I just refrain from adding another storehouse for these bugs. But this one is different.
There is no major pest-control needed. The plant is happy where it sits and happy to drink any amount of water I give it to it.

Currently its in the background, near a shaded area. I'm glad to note that this plant does its best to bloom and continue the next bloom while the other one gets matures.
And Hey! Guess What? It fruits!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guess What?

Can you guess what flowers are these?

Coleus Again

These are the current collection of Coleus I have in my garden. All of them are facing high time of pruning and re-propagating. (all waiting for the gardener to take action)

(Please note that all the names of the coleus plants are basically indicative for my identification and not the actual names)

Top picture: "Streaked Curtains"
This one seemed to doing OK so far. I may have to do the replanting soon before this plant dies.

Picture below is my "Bleeding Rubies" (Shade)
This one is from the shaded area. Notice all the ruby coloured ones are replaced with cream colour. They get that pigment colour when in full sun.

Below: Bleeding Rubies (Full Sun)
Same plant as above but look at the difference.

This one is my "Wet Feet". (Shade)
I find that it look very interesting when in shade rather than the one is full sun.

Wet Feet (Full Sun)
Notice all the green are gone replaced with red & pink centre.

This is a new species in my garden. (Purple Coleus) (Shade)
I had found it an abandon area where someone had left it to rot. It was badly damaged by grasshoppers. I had placed in the shade first to see how it coloured.
Somehow it still showed a little green at the tips. Its quite hardy and doing well for these few months. I have not manage to propagate it yet. Its now, just one plant.

Purple Coleus (Full Sun)

Red Hearts (Shade)
Somehow I still admire this one, they look very beautiful in both conditions (shade or sun)
Very hardy and easy to manage.

This one is my most hardest, challenging coleus hybrid. They don't do so well even after propagating (cuttings). This plant is slowly dying. They are not the growing type (seemed to be very much like the dwarf species)
Regardless, This "Army Pants" still look so beautiful. Wished I had like the others. I guess, its time to say good-bye to this species. It had been with me for few months.

More tips on Coleus:
How do you know whether the coleus you have are the hardy type?
1) Cuttings : For one - you would know that if its hardy, the coleus will root in water.
If they don't (rotting instead of rooting) then they are the sensitive type.
2) Branches: The hardy ones will branch out to many stalks. Here you can take more cuttings and propagate them.
The sensitive ones just stay put and slowly die.
Other tips from my earlier post (repeat)
1) The flower buds must be pinched off as soon as they develop to prevent the plant from producing seeds. Once its started doing that, its life objective is completed and it will usually die.
2) Trimming may also be necessary to prevent leggy growth. Anytime the tip growth is removed, the plant's growth will be diverted to the lateral side growth, creating a much bushier plant.
3) Care is necessary as it needs daily watering.
4) Sunlight is necessary, placing the plant in shady area will cause the plant to have more green than the colour.
5) The plant requires to be replanted at most (3 - 5 months) once, or the whole plant will start to wilt in stages & die. Replanting & trimming helps to keep the plant to regenerate and live longer.
Also click on the Colours of Rainbow for more details (past post)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some Mix Feelings...opps Colours.

Its the beginning of the year,
somehow I should have the new zeal to jump start my garden.
But strangely I don't. I have in my best availability just enough to sum up some strength to water my plants once awhile, at most 2 days once.

I really don't know what happened.
Probably its the long holidays.
Well, another way to put it : Family & Friends obligations.
First it was Christmas, followed by New Year
(dinners, dinners & more dinners),
then my Brother's Wedding on the 2nd. Jan
(another few dinners again) ,
then school starts for my 7 year old just few days after that.

I have been not having my proper sleep as I need to send my son to school early in the morning.
Starting a new routine of getting everyone to bed at 10.30pm seemed like preparing the whole family to take a domestic flight! And that's the time my son wants me to tell him bedtime stories.

Its really tiring.. and I have not recovered myself from all those ordeal. I had put on weight so much on all of the celebration meals & cookies that I can't even recognise myself! I have drinking too much coffee, skipping breakfast, and drowning myself with all the junk food at the night!

And guess what,
having these snacks while watching "Biggest Loser Asia!"

Back to plants.

I have manage to sort my garden some time before Christmas, (haven't touch them since)
I've got an idea of planting coloured plants in hanging pots. Here I've got various types of Coleus, Joyweed and Purple Queen.

They have been doing so well these few weeks, it gives me sort of an indication as when the coleus droop, its time to water the garden. Somehow that really helps as I have no intention to overwater my garden.

I found that there are two types of coleus which seemed to be very hardy, they seemed to stand in the most extreme of wet & heat. Somehow these really give some colours when they greet me at the entrance of my home. I had hanged them at the side of my metal roofing, and so when it rains it receives natural water.

My concern is that it gets too much water and may requires feeding time to time.
And when its hot, its very hot and the coleus colours seemed to be worn out. However the Joyweed don't seemed to mind all that.

PS: Ahh! Yes!
This would be my 200th Post, never thought it would be so soon.

"This calls for another celebration..
or probably, should I consider a fine dining?"

Plants : "Enough dinners fatty.. lets get to work..."

This is the front part of my garden outside my gate area.

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